Acorn Econet Bridge

An Acorn Econet Bridge is used to connect two full Econet networks together allowing them to communicate and share resources. A total of 127 Econet bridges can be used in a network to create one large Acorn Econet comprising a maximum of 32,258 Acorn computers.

The Acorn Econet Bridge was the only Acorn product that shipped in the "cheese wedge" form which did not connect directly to a BBC Micro via either the Acorn Tube or 1MHz bus.

Acorn Econet Bridge

Two networks are connected to the bridge using the Econet A and Econet B ports on the rear of the device as pictured below.

The Acorn Econet Bridge (rear)

Each Econet network that connects to the bridge requires its own Econet Clock which can be configured to run at different speeds to each other. This feature allows a single network to be segmented into two with faster machines being placed on one network segment running a faster clock speed whereas, slower machines are connected onto the segment running a slower clock speed. This allows each segment to run as fast as possible for the machines that are connected to them.

The Econet Bridge has 8KB of RAM fitted internally which is used as a buffer to provide data transmission between the two networks which is controlled by the Econet bridge ROM which manages the networking handshaking and synchronisation services required to allow the networks to communicate when required and otherwise run asynchronously when communications are between machines on the same network segment.

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